Utafiti: Journal of African Perspectives

 

Call for Papers: Utafiti is inviting you to submit your manuscript – any topic in the humanities - for consideration in the next issues.

 

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Somalia remained a country in precarious conditions, much dependent on ‘life support’ provided by donors and the diaspora. The division continued between Southern (federal) Somalia and Somaliland. Politics showed a divided ruling elite. There was continued violent terrorist contestation by the insurgent Islamist movement al-Shabaab and a critical humanitarian situation, with millions of idps and people dependent on food aid. The country continued to be propped up by massive donor country funding and remittances from overseas Somali communities, contributing to political instability in Southern Somalia, which saw growing rivalry between the president and the prime minister. This led to recurring disagreements and repeated delays to the presidential elections – which were not held this year as planned. The standoff also precluded decisive advances in institution-building and service delivery. The al-Shabaab movement, aiming vaguely for an ‘Islamic state’, was kept at bay but endangered security across the country by continuing its indiscriminate violent attacks on government personnel, businesses, the media, and public places, also causing hundreds of civilian casualties. Autonomous Somaliland showed a more stable and relatively peaceful picture, with successful parliamentary and local elections concluded, but it made little progress in its attempts to achieve international recognition. Somalia’s relations with the international ‘donor community’ were at times tense, with the federal government rejecting too much ‘interference’ from outsiders. Relations with Ethiopia were good, with Kenya less so. Humanitarian and environmental conditions steadily deteriorated and livelihoods were very precarious, contributing to societal instability and volatility.